For any of those familiar with my past work or essays this may sound like quite a familiar sentiment.
I used to run a site about the internet. Weird things people would publish on the internet, strange groups created on the internet or mysterious things that could only happen because of the internet. I also railed against social media quite a bit.
Of course, the irony was never lost on me as I consistently utilized social media to promote my own essays highlighting the perils of humanity and our society’s crumbling mental health. Which I’m sure I will do the same with this very piece as well to reach the broadest audience I can to inform them of a few simple key things about how I work and feel.
1.) YOU DON’T OWE ME ANYTHING
There are plenty of people I follow on WordPress and Instagram that I support for different reasons. Some bloggers – I love their material. I’m just interested in what they write about. Others the opposite. I follow an anime blog and I don’t really watch anime but the way the writer carefully crafts their work I enjoy. I’ve learned a lot about how to blog from reading different blogs from far superior writers than myself. Others I just follow and support because I like the people behind the sites. I like being in the digital company of funny, intellectual people.
So I do my best to support or encourage other bloggers when I can. It’s not much but I try. But do ANY of these people owe me for my support? Absolutely not. That’s the whole fucking point of supporting someone. 😂 You don’t go in supporting someone on your own volition and expect something out of them. It’s not a transaction.
With that said:
2.) I DONT OWE YOU ANYTHING
Yes, of course I appreciate support and encouragement from friends and members of the blogging community and I do like to entertain readers but I am not a performer. You didn’t hire me. You have every right to unfollow or block me as much as I have every right to tell you to, “Fuck off”.
I have always been an open person and get along easily with most everyone. But there are a few online trends of the past ten years now that I just can’t stand. And I’ve seen good, decent people fall into these lazy interactions: Taking up the role of the social media victim.
Now there are some things I think just about everyone can agree we don’t agree with/ won’t tolerate online. Anything racist or homophobic/transphobic is bullshit. It’s 2021. This shit should have been eradicated decades ago.
But social media victimization is not caused by legitimate threats, bullying, racism or harassment. It comes from someone telling you what they don’t find funny and why you’re wrong for saying it.
The social media victim will scroll through all of their social media feeds looking for the dumbest hill to die on that day. It’s not enough to see something stupid and continue scrolling. No, this must be addressed. And it will also be absolutely irrefutable – impossible to argue – because whatever unbelievably benign subject the funny meme or clip addressed – the social media victim has been suffering horribly from in silence. UNTIL THIS VERY MOMENT – WHERE THE MADNESS MUST STOP – THEY MUST TAKE A STAND.
THE SOCIAL MEDIA VICTIM PARADOX
Say someone shares a meme online of little to no consequence. It’s a stupid joke that features an illustration of someone holding their head indicating a headache. It’s vague and dumb but innocent enough.
99% of people who didn’t snort at it keep scrolling. Others even unfollow. But then a special type of person comes around: The SMV – The Social Media Victim.
Maybe the SMV has had a headache in the past. Maybe they even suffer from chronic migraines that can be debilitating. This illustration invalidates all of their pain. How could this person post this so thoughtlessly? How could they post a meme before thinking of every single person on Earth? How could they post something of absolutely no consequence without considering how the SMV feels??
But herein lies the SMV Paradox:
How does the SMV know that the original poster of the meme doesn’t suffer from chronic migraines as well? How do they know that the same image triggered a response with the original poster as well – making them think of their own migraines but the way with their pain is through humor. Does the SMV realize that by attacking the original poster that they are now invalidating others? Do they realize they have became the same thing they thought they were rallying against?
No. They don’t even consider this. Do you want to know why?
Because it was never about anyone else but themselves to begin with. They were not grandstanding for everyone who suffers from headaches. They were pitching a fit for attention.
No apologies are owed to a socio-media victim. The only thing that is owed from the SMV is to themselves – they owe it to themselves to find a new hobby.